A Home Is Like A Violin

Photo By Grace Ingrid Roberson

The strings of my heart pluck black-and-blue when I see an instrument, such as a violin nailed, hanging on a wall next to a painting.   I’ve seen these crucifixions many times in New York City, touring and pricing apartments as a real estate agent and always keep such grievances to myself.  But today, I’m no longer able to be mute.

The owners of these luthiers are not musicians.  They are collectors.  A leisure pursuit—at times an honorable one, that empowers them with trophies of another man’s genius: ownership of esteemed pieces cultivates an aura of literati, serving to heighten their status—separating them from the common man.   I see myself as common—an average person, who is not part of affluent sect and just happens to know the value of the of an over-the-top apartment.

I am content with this station of commoner and with the fact, that I will never own a Stadivari or Guadagnini or even the smallest Modigliani sketch.   I just sell and rent Manhattan apartments. And yet, I wonder why such acts of blasphemy, like nailing a violin on a wall, silences the hertz of 440—the perfect note by which all things are tuned by, within my common-real-estate-brokering-soul.   Hanging a string instrument on a wall does not impress me nor is it art to me.  The art is inside the instrument (which of course cannot be seen); it must be played in order for us to experience the genius of artisan beauty contained by that structure of wood.  Those continual vibrations brought about by even a novice musician, who glides a bow over strings, increases its value—pulling a pure, deep history of singing tones from inside. That is art.

A home is like a violin:  it must be played or else it dies, losing its luster, creating cracks within the hollow. There must be life within a structure for it to be a home.